By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – “Turn around, don’t drown” is now the law in Pennsylvania.
The law took effect 60 days after it was signed by Governor Tom Corbett in early July. It provides fines and license points for motorists who ignore signs warning that a road has been closed due to floods or other hazardous conditions.
Montgomery County House Republican Todd Stephens, who sponsored the bill, says it was just about a year ago that an incident occurred, highlighting the need for the new law.
“Where, believe it or not, first responders had to go into rushing flood waters to rescue someone who drove around a sign. Those first responders ended up getting stranded, and the National Guard had to go in and rescue the rescuers.”
In that case, the motorist was ordered by a judge to pay expenses associated with the rescue.
Stephens says Pennsylvania is not unique.
“It’s a national initiative – turn around, don’t drown. This isn’t something that’s just we’re taking on here in Pennsylvania. It’s happening all over the country. And the goal really is to raise awareness, make sure motorists are aware that it is dangerous to drive around those barricades.”
Now, by law, motorists who ignore signs and have to be rescued will have to pay expenses and will see a $250 dollar fine doubled to $500 dollars.